VSO spreads smiles through Daan Utsav2 min read
Manipal: Volunteer Services Organization (VSO) celebrated Daan Utsav from October 2-8 by launching six new projects in and around Manipal.
Daan Utsav is India’s “festival of giving.” Coinciding with Gandhi Jayanthi every year, it engages people through the acts of philanthropy. VSO Manipal began the week with the first project “Meal for a Smile.” Seven volunteers from VSO teamed up with Welcome Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) in preparing a simple meal and distributing it in two slum areas. Krishna, a 4th standard student from Sarlabettu School especially enjoyed the meal s, “This is the best lunch I have had in a long time.”
On the second day, VSO provided a free health check-up to slum dwellers and underprivileged people. Sajjad Fazel, the coordinator for the project ‘Health for All’ said, “We included the major departments like Medicine, Paediatrics, Dental and several others in the health check-up and also provided free samples of drugs wherever we could.”
“Daan Sahayog” was a collection drive where old clothes, stationery items, footwear were collected from hostels and colleges under Manipal University and was distributed to underprivileged people outside Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MCOPS). Nagesha, a villager from Sarlabettu, who got a pair of shoes from the event said, “This is helpful for us. They have collected a lot of items that my kids could pick and choose from.”
VSO volunteers also renovated a Children’s Park near End Point. Nitesh Kumar, a coordinator explained the thought process behind renovating the park, “We observed that the park was in bad condition. The swings and other structures in the park were rusted. We completely re-painted the park with the help of a professional artist.” The park was reopened to the public on the evening of October 6.
Furthermore, “Splash-N-Dash” a mass car-wash event was organized on October 2-3 and “Plant to Protect”, a project held on October 6 had volunteers provid free plant saplings to MIT and KMC staff quarters.
The busy week concluded with a valedictory ceremony where the respective team leaders presented a report about their projects. The guest of honour Dr. H Vinod Bhat, Pro Vice Chancellor of Manipal University, felicitated the student and faculty coordinators of the event.
Sub-edited by Nadia Lewis